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Friday, September 4, 2015

A Cop's Funeral

As you no doubt know, Deputy Darren Goforth of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was murdered on August 28, 2015. As he filled his vehicle a piece of human debris walked up behind him and shot him in the head. To finish the murder he emptied his magazine and departed. Fortunately the suspect was arrested the next day and is now in the Harris County Jail and the DA has filed Capital Murder charges.

I turned off of I-10 onto Voss Road at 1010am and met a traffic jam. The church was 1.7 miles away and it was going at a snail’s pace. And I moved slowly. It took 30 minutes to get a mile down the road, then the traffic cooled off a bit. I got within a quarter mile when I noticed a sign “Overflow parking” and I got in there. A couple has allowed us to park our vehicles on the front lawn at their half million dollar home. And all around the church and on the street there are people with signs supporting police.

The front of Second Baptist Church
The flag between two engine latters

Every overflow room was standing room only
Signs of support everywhere.

Houston Second Baptist Church

Here is the arrival of the HCSO's Honor Guard:

I listen to the Sheriff thank the thousands who attend today to support the Goforth family.  Then a Houston Police Lieutenant discusses Deputy Goforth and how he loved to work on cars,  that this was his passion and we wanted to have a piece of land with a garage and to work on classic cars.. And how he and Goforth were friends since 4th grade and how they go into trouble in school and with both their parents.

Unfortunately I cannot stay much longer. I have an extra job I couldn’t get someone to cover and the man I normally relieve at noon can only stay to “1300ish”. So I start walking and I am blown away at how densely the cars are packed. And I walk and there are no less than 50 people between the church and the house where my car is, all of them say “Thank you” to me as I pass. I make it to the house and I see a young man there with a dog. Thankfully I can still drive out of the house and I ask “Is this your house?” and he said yes. I asked his if his parents were home because I wanted to thank him for the extra parking, but unfortunately they are home. But I shake his hand and ask him to thank his parents for me.

I make it out and start driving to the interstate and there is a convoy already started. Around 30 wreckers. Cops and wreckers have a love/hate relationship, but I’ve had mostly good experiences from them. And I manage to get to the interstate before most of them make it, and I decide to block some traffic to allow them to get out easier. Thanks guys for your help.

Anyone who’s been through his before knows the family will be brought out, then the casket, the 21 gun salute fired and the Sheriff hands over the flag to Deputy Goforth’s widow. Here is the ceremony.

And then the final Call. The dispatcher calls Deputy Goforth on his radio and then after receiving no response, he’s “Off Duty”. Or as we say, his “End of Watch”.

I’m getting tired of this. This is the third cop’s funeral I’ve attended in as many months, but it’s a possibility of the job. Now is our time to mourn, tomorrow is our time to see justice done.  I see two more meeting in the future.  I will attend the opening of the Capital Murder trial for the POS, which is normal.  Kill a cop and on the day your court time starts, you can rest assured the room with be filled with blue.  And later, probably 9-12 years later, I'll be at Huntsville with my Blue Knight and Thin Blue Line family to see you off to hell.

I’ve just seen the picture of Mrs. Goforth after she received the flag, and it tears at you.

God will get you through Mrs. Goforth and this is no real comfort, but he is in a better place now.

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